If These Were My Last Words...
If you knew that you were going to die tomorrow, what last words would you leave your friends and family? This is actually an amazing practice in and of itself, that would reveal what you really care about, and would help you see if what you spend your energy on matches. Well, in many of the letters to the New Testament Churches, Paul and the other writers did just this. Go to the end of some of the letters and you’ll see “Final words, encouragements, instructions,” etc.
These final invitations are so powerful:
Rejoice in the Lord always...Be THANKFUL in all circumstances, for THIS is God’s will for you who BELONG to Jesus...and I say it again, Rejoice...Remember the Lord is near, so there’s no need to be anxious, but in everything, by prayer (alignment) and petition, with THANKSGIVING, present your requests to God (last week’s practice). Then peace will guard your hearts like a fortress! (Thessalonians 5; Philippians 4)
Thankfulness is so central to the heart of God and is inherently linked to humility. Having a right view of oneself (humility), means that we aren’t completely self sufficient. We need God and others. It’s the classic beginning line of the recovery world, “I Can’t.” And I love that it says to re-joice (practice/find joy daily) and be thankful in all circumstances IN THE LORD ALWAYS. It’s not necessarily being thankful for cancer, but in what the Lord is doing through cancer, pain, doubts, worry, tragedy, sorrow, etc. He brings dead things to life. That’s how He rolls!
Apparently, the will of God for us involves thankfulness. I think if we nail this concept, and it becomes our soul’s practice, much of what we struggle with becomes less and less powerful. WITH a THANKFUL heart:
The voice of comparison becomes quieter
Fear, depression and worry take up less space in our hearts and minds
Lust for other things becomes distracted by what we already have
The darkness of sorrow, disappointment and loneliness is lit up by a thankful hope
The shame from our coveted and hated sins loses power because of what Jesus has already done
Being fully present is attainable
If these were some of my last words of encouragement to you my friends, my family, kids and wife, I’d say to:
Remember, JESUS is here, and alive and well. Practice THANKFULNESS in all circumstances & joy will be the air you breathe!
10000 MINUTES Practice:
Let thankfulness fill your heart, mind, mouth, and soul this week, so that everything has to go through that lens! PRACTICE THANKFULNESS.
Text “10k” to “55678” if you want weekly text reminders to your phone. We’ll be sending out a few encouragements a week to help you practice Jesus all week long!